WHO reports progress on H5N1 vaccines

first_imgFeb 16, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported “encouraging progress” on development of H5N1 avian influenza vaccines, while cautioning that global capacity to make the vaccines remains very limited.Following a 2-day meeting of vaccine experts in Geneva, the WHO said new vaccines aimed at various strains of H5N1—considered the likeliest candidate to spark a flu pandemic—look promising.”For the first time, results presented at the meeting have convincingly demonstrated that vaccination with newly developed avian influenza vaccines can bring about a potentially protective immune response against strains of H5N1 virus found in a variety of geographical locations,” the WHO said in a news release.”Some of the vaccines work with low doses of antigen, which means that significantly more vaccine doses can be available in case of a pandemic,” the agency added.However, the statement continues, “WHO stresses that the world still lacks the manufacturing capacity to meet potential global pandemic influenza vaccine demand as current capacity is estimated at less than 400 million doses per year of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine.” The current world population is more than 6 billion.Sixteen companies from 10 countries are developing prototype pandemic flu vaccines against H5N1, the WHO said. Five of those companies also are developing vaccines against other avian flu strains, including H9N2, H5N2, and H5N3. More than 40 clinical trials have been completed or are under way, most of them involving healthy adults. But some companies have begun clinical trials in children and the elderly.So far, all the vaccines were safe and well tolerated in the groups tested, the agency said. Most of the companies are using vaccine strains corresponding to H5N1 viruses provided by WHO collaborating laboratories.Because pandemic flu viruses are products of constant evolution, no one knows how well any of the prototype vaccines under development would work against a pandemic H5N1 virus, but experts hope that the vaccines would provide some protection. Once a pandemic strain emerges, it is expected to take at least 6 months to produce a vaccine precisely matching it.Today’s statement strikes a different tone from that of a report on flu research released by the WHO last November. That report, based on a meeting of 22 scientists in September, said vaccine developments at that point did not look promising. One problem cited was that H5N1 viruses had branched off into a number of different subgroups, and vaccines that worked well against one subgroup did not work well against others.The November report also said many fundamental questions about H5N1 vaccines remained to be answered. Because of the many unknowns, the report cautioned governments against stockpiling pre-pandemic vaccines. Today’s brief statement does not mention stockpiling.The WHO meeting drew more than 100 flu vaccine experts, who heard and discussed information on more than 20 projects. The aim was to review progress in vaccine development and reach a consensus on future priorities. The meeting was the third of its kind in 2 years, the WHO said.The statement does not give an estimate of how many doses of H5N1 vaccines have been made so far, and further information was not immediately available.In 2006 the WHO launched its global pandemic influenza action plan, a program expected to cost $10 billion over 10 years, the statement noted. One goal of the plan is to enable developing countries to build their own flu vaccine production facilities.In launching the program last October, the WHO called for an urgent effort to boost vaccine production capacity and develop better vaccines, while cautioning that it would take 3 to 5 years for the effort to bear fruit.See also:Feb 16 WHO statement on vaccine developmenthttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2007/np07/en/index.htmlNov 2, 2006, CIDRAP News story “WHO report calls H5N1 vaccine stockpiling premature”Oct 23, 2006, CIDRAP News story “WHO seeks urgent push for pandemic flu vaccines”last_img read more

Brisbane home values stay strong despite falls in Sydney, Melbourne

first_imgBrisbane home values are holding steady, despite falls in other capital cities. Photo: Nearmap.com.au.The month-to-date index shows Melbourne values are down half a per cent, while the Sydney market is down 0.2 per cent so far this month. Across all capital cities, dwelling values have slipped 0.2 per cent so far in May.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours agoCoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said Brisbane was outperforming the larger capital cities because its home values were not falling, even though they were not growing much.“Brisbane on paper is looking like a very good market,” Mr Lawless said.“It’s affordable, has high yields and is seeing strong population growth. It just hasn’t seen a kickstart in property values.” WHERE TO BUY FOR UNDER $500,000 CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless, pictured in Sydney.Mr Lawless said the decline in unit values in Brisbane was also easing.“We’re not seeing the unit marketplace as soft as it has been over the past few years,” he said.“We expect oversupply concerns to start to wind down somewhat.”But he said it was too early to tell if the unit market had reached the bottom. PARTY LIKE IT’S 1869 IN THIS ‘OLD-WEST’ STYLE CABIN IN THE WOODS Home values in regional markets such as the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast were performing well, while regional mining areas were recovering.The CoreLogic Home Value Index provides a detailed summary of how house and unit values have shifted across the capital cities and regional markets of Australia. Brisbane home values are holding steady, despite falls in other capital cities. Photo: Glenn Hunt/Getty Images.BRISBANE continues to defy a softening in home values, despite falls in the larger capital cities, an exclusive preview of the latest figures from property researcher CoreLogic reveals.The official end-of-month results are due to be released on Friday, but for the first 29 days of May, Brisbane home values actually rose 0.1 per cent.Year-to-date, they are holding steady.The preliminary reading is foreshadowing a more substantial fall across Melbourne, where the slide in dwelling values has previously been more resilient. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE last_img read more

Local Group Rescues Dog Trapped Under AC Units in Bahamas Since Dorian

first_imgA dog that had been trapped under air conditioning units in Marsh Harbour since Hurricane Dorian has been rescued.Using infrared heat-seeking technology mounted on a drone, a search and rescue team from Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Loxahatchee found the animal on Friday morning.Lauree Simmons, president and founder of the center, says, “They texted me and they said urgent, “We need a plane now. We had a plane there within an hour.”She adds the dog is being named “Miracle,” because, “It’s truly a miracle that he survived this long on his own.” Another dog who was trapped under the air conditioning units did not survive.Simmons says of Miracle, “Hopefully, we can find his owners. If not we’ll find him a wonderful home.” She continues, “I want everybody to know the crisis [in the Bahamas] is not over,” as there could be other dogs who are afraid to move around due to heavy equipment being used for the cleanup efforts.last_img read more

Hampshire golfer leads South qualifiers for Grand Medal Final

first_img15 Apr 2012 Hampshire golfer leads South qualifiers for Grand Medal Final Hampshire golfer Caroline Pinder set up a special birthday present to herself when she won the South region qualifier for England Golf’s 2012 Grand Medal Final. The qualifying event, at Highgate in Middlesex, was contested by the best women club medal players from five Southern counties. The top 10 now go forward to the Grand Medal Final at Worcestershire Golf Club on Saturday, June 23 – the day before Caroline’s birthday. “I am chuffed to pieces,” said Caroline, from Gosport and Stokes Bay Golf Club. She had a net score of one-under par 70 and won the qualifier by two shots. Her fellow qualifiers are: Kay Clark (Wildernesse),  Felicity Saunders (Tyrrells Wood),  Jenny Frei (Cottesmore), Cecile Shek (Shirley Park), Caroline Roadnight (Waterlooville), Alex Ord (Boughton), Carol Bradshaw (South Winchester), Niki Orchard (Hartley Wintney) and Karen Webb (Southwood). They will join qualifiers from five other regions at the Grand Medal Final to compete for the title of England’s champion medal player. All the regional finalists returned the best four scores at their club in the English Women’s Medals during 2011. Caroline has been a golf club member for just two years and this is her biggest win to date – and she had to endure a long, anxious wait before it was confirmed. “I said beforehand that I’d like to be in the top half of the field. Then, when I came in, they said I was leading. That was at 3pm and I had to wait until 7.30pm to find out that I’d held on. It was agonising and the longer it went on the worse it got!” Caroline started golf with a group of friends – all fellow members of a netball team. “We started doing girlie golf and called ourselves ‘All the gear and no idea!’” However, she quickly got the idea, encouraged by her partner and other golfing members of her family, and is now down to 23 handicap, with another cut on the way. “Golf’s a real challenge and I just love it,” she said. Qualifying net scores Par 71, SSS 72 CSS 74, handicaps in brackets 70 Caroline Pinder (Gosport & Stokes Bay, 23) 72 Kay Clark (Wildernesse, 12), Fe licity Saunders (Tyrrells Wood, 24) 73 Jenny Frei (Cottesmore, 15), Cecile Shek (Shirley Park, 12), Caroline Roadnight (Waterlooville, 19 ) 74 Alex Ord (Boughton, 11), Carol Bradshaw (South Winchester, 18), Niki Orchard (Hartley Wintney, 20), Karen Webb (Southwood, 25)last_img read more